For the Press
History of the Library
30 Second Video
13 Minute Video
The Library opened in 1917 on the corner of Thayer Avenue and 6th Street, thanks to a grant from Andrew Carnegie and support from Bismarck residents. When we first opened, Bismarck had a population of 7,000 residents. We had a collection of 4,000 books, one librarian, and 1,800 cardholders.
In 1963, we expanded and moved to the corner of Avenue A and 6th Street. The building was financed through a veterans bond levy, and the library was renamed in honor of our local veterans. In 1987, the building expanded to 70,000 square feet, taking up the entire city block, and the entrance moved to its currently location on 5th Street.
Today, the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library has a collection of over 250,000 titles, and receives over 378,000 visits every year at the Library and over 9,000 visits at our outreach branches. There are 46,000 citizens carrying our library card, and they check out 525,000 items annually!
Our collection contains books, audio books, DVDs and music CDs. We have unique circulating collections such as art prints, fishing poles, movie binge boxes, ND State Park passes, and life vests for children. Patrons also have access to eBooks, digital audio books, and many online resources.
The Library provides public access computers and wireless Internet access. It offers children, teen, and adult programming year-round. Our two traveling outreach branches provide our services to those who are not able to visit us in person. The Mobile Library provides service in Bismarck, and the Burleigh County Bookmobile provides service to rural schools and towns.